The next normal: The future of medication abortion is at home
This has been the worst legislative year for U.S. abortion rights on record. More restrictions have been passed in 2021 than in any year since Roe v. Wade. In the most extreme case, Texas banned abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. The Supreme Court may be poised to overturn Roe. Yet despite moves by some states to make abortions harder to obtain from a clinic, an increasing number of people are using abortion pills at home.
Medication abortion, which involves two pills taken 24 hours apart to terminate pregnancies up to 10 weeks, is one of the simplest and safest procedures in all of medicine. The pills cause bleeding and cramping. Afterward, a simple pregnancy test can confirm that the pills have worked. But for many in the United States, accessing these pills is an obstacle course, thanks to a rash of state-level restrictions blocking clinic access. With no federal and little state funding available, the price tag of $300 to $800 often falls on the individual.